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, 70,000 have been killed since protests against syrian president assad. robert frod testified at a robert ford testified at a hearing. this is two hours and 15 minutes. >> this hearing will come to order. we need to review the syrian crisis. it was two years ago last week on the nightly news that we saw those protesters walking through the street, chanting, peaceful. what the world saw next without the syrian forces opened up with small arms fire on the marchers. over the ensuing weeks, that was followed by materially -- artillery barrage is and tanks and aerial apartment and finally i scud missiles into cities. we are now two years into that syria and uprising. for two leady years, u.s. policy has been a drift. the obama administration saw assad as a reformer in the works. then it bet on moscow to play a constructive role. this is the assad who is bombing villages in syria. this is the assad who is ordering teenagers tortured. frankly, he is engaged in murdering his populist. the ancient city is now in ruins. 70,000 syrians are dead. a million refugees has spilled into neighb
to publicly call on assad to step down because of the horrific violence being inflicted on the syrian people. jordan has played a leading role in trying to begin a political transition toward a new government. we're working together to strengthen a credible syrian opposition. we share jordan's concerns about violence spilling across the borders. so i want to take this opportunity to make it clear the united states is committed to the security of jordan, which is backed by our strong alliance. as has been mentioned during this crisis the jordanian people have displayed extraordinary generosity, but the strains of so many refugees inevitably is showing. every day -- to neighbors far from home, but this is a heavy burden. and the international community needs to step up to make sure that they are helping to shoulder this burden. the united states will certainly do our part. we are already the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance to the syrian people. some of this has helped people here in jordan. and today i'm announcing that my administration will work with congress to provide jorda
, saying this is all part of president assad's propaganda effort to mislead public opinion. the white house says it has no evidence on either side that anyone used any chemical agent. we'll have more on the administration's reaction in a moment. >> first, let's get to jonathan hunt. impossible to know if this is true. but we can look at this video and draw at least some preliminary, well, conclusions. >> we can't be certain about anything, but if you look at the video that is allegedly from this attack, and shows the victims, there's nothing here that would indicate, for instance, gas, the twitching of the victims, vomiting, drooling, mustard good, you would see blistering on the skin. we don't see any of those things in this video, and also we have not yet heard anywhere in the past fewer months or past couple years, any evidence that the rebels themselves have got their hands on chemical weapons as the syrian national cancer spokesman said earlier today. listen. >> the rebels don't have access to chemical weapons. they don't have access to the means of launching chemical weapons. simply p
, a she'ite muslim is helping to support the assad regime in syria. now, secretary kerry met with iraqi president nouri al-maliki during a visit in baghdad today. those iranian flights were at the top of the agenda. they had what kerry described as a spirited discussion. here is the secretary. >> anything that supports president assad is problematic and you i made it very clear to the prime minister that the overflights from iran are in fact helping to sustain president assad and his regime. >> reporter: the u.s. believes the iranian aircraft flying over iraq are carrying weapons to arm the syrian government but tehran says they are delivering only humanitarian aid there. they wanted to force the planes for inspections but only a few have been checked. >> i think the intent here by going public is to increase the pressure on al-maliki but the whole incident how minimal influence is on the regime in iraq and how minimal our ability to affect the conflict in syria has become. >> reporter: u.s. officials say the flights are taking place just about every day. kerry says the u.s. congress is
with the civil war in syria. how? the secretary says that iraq has been helping prop up assad as he fights for power there. kerry making an unannounced visitor to iraq and meeting with nuri al-maliki. and stopping the flow of weapons into neighboring syria. weapons that are only making the civil war more deadly. and steve centanni is here. how are they flowing into syria? >> reporter: according to u.s. officials there are flights just about every day, from iran to syria travelling across the iraqi air space. iran says they carry humanitarian aid, but u.s. says they carry weapons to the syrian government. and secretary of state john kerry urged al-maliki to crack down on the flights requiring they land in iraq for inspection before continuing on to syria. >> we had a very spirited discussion on the subject of the overflights and i made it very clear, anything that supports president assad is problematic. >> kerry suggested the future of u.s.-iraqi relations is hanging in the balance here, harris. >> harris: given the recent talks and the possibility of chemical weapons used on citizens and
is worried what will happen in the country of the deadly assad regime is out. president obama's comments came of the president assad pledged to wipe out forces of darkness from his country, following the reports of a suicide has' last night at a damascus mosque, including a cleric who supported the syrian regime. this is the first time in thesive war that a suicide bomber has struck inside a house of worship, and the sunni cleric who was injured -- or killed, reportedly the most senior religious figure killed in the entirety of the conflict. president assad vowed revenge. we will destroy their extremism until we have cleansed the country. little doubt the syrian leader is referring to the rebel fighters. the opposition denying anything to do with the attack. ed henry is with the president. >>> ed, president obama is under a lot of pressure to take some military action in syria. >> that's right, including from some fellow democrats, who like carl levin, if not boots on the ground, at least a no-fly zone. senator levin and joining senator john mccain there could be surgical astrikes. the presid
it was the assad regime used some type of chemical weapons on rebels in northern syria, around the aleppo region. of course the assad regime and assad state television said rebels used those weapons. what we're hearing from western intelligence officials, it was opposite, assad regime used some type of chemical weapons and killed somewhere between 15 and 26 people. conflicting reports. we heard 15. we also heard 26. there is a lot of differing information right now. but we have confirmed of course, there have been some type of chemical weapons being used in syria. now who used them on exactly which group is still very much unclear right now, bill. bill: conor, thank you. just one line crossing the associated press at the moment here. reuters was reporting on this a little bit earlier. we're sorting through this on our end. conor come back when you have more from jerusalem there. martha: our thanks to him. this is breaking news right now. we want to bring in ambassador john bolton to get his reaction to this. you heard what conor powell told us. what do you think, ambassador? >> i don't take anyt
weapon attack in syria. the rebels are blaming president assad's forces, but the government blames the rebels. meanwhile, president obama has said use of chemical weapons would be a red line for his administration. but if these latest accusations prove true, is now the time for u.s. boots on the ground? here now to tell us is house intelligence committee chair mike rogers. he's a republican from michigan. keith and jimmy are still with us. chairman rogers, thank you very much, sir. is there truly conclusive evidence that one side or the other has really used chemical weapons. >> larry, when i look at all of the evidence, all of the intelligence, and the body of reporting over the last two years, i come to the conclusion with a high probability that the assad regime has used, at least in limited quantities, chemical weapons. they've also put them in a position to be used, and i believe, and the intelligence community, i think, believes that they have serious intent to use them under the right circumstances. so the red line that the president talked about, august 20th, was, if they m
that we're evaluating it. >> and assad has used scud missiles, fighter planes and other military assets to try to squash the two year uprising, upwards of 70,000 lives have been lost. and president obama, as megyn mentioned, says that either moving the chemical weapons around or using them would cross a quote, unquote, red line that would cause the president to change his calculus about the hands-off posture that the u.s. has adopted in the conflict. there were reports that the assad regime used against he the opposition forces, incapacitating thing called agent 15, which incapacitates your nervous system and causes hallucinations. >> megyn: thank you, the state department weighed in moments ago as we were going to air, saying that it remains, quote, quite concerned that assad's government will resort to nonconventional weapons. that doesn't tell us whether they have today, but they remain quite concerned that the government will. now, james just mentioned, it was just last august that president obama issued a warning, and as i mentioned, about chemical weapons in syria. no matter which
issue by president obama who warned syria's dictator bashar al-assad that he should not cross that line. bill: the white house has been briefed and the white house has to make some decisions in this. i think the days are becoming more desperate and the regime is more desperate and we know where the chemical weapons are, end quote. peter doocy leads the coverage in washington. how certain are the lawmakers that chemical weapons have been used, peter? >> reporter: not 100% certain, bill but senator feinstein says lawmakers have seen the same intelligence the white house has seen. mike rogers the chairman of the house intelligence committee said in an interview about syria i have a high probability to believe that chemical weapons were used w we need the final verification. i, mike rogers, chairman. intelligence committee would come to the conclusion they are either positioned for use or ready to do that or in fact have been used. if a final verification about chemical weapons use is made, congressman rogers says the united states is morally obligated to take out syria's weapons delivery s
are being used in syria by the assad regime or by rebel groups? what do you think? >> i don't know but chairman rogers, highly respected chairman of the intelligence committee has access to information that very select leaders have in this country. so when he is drawing a conclusion it is likely it is probable, i think we have to take him at his word. i believe also before our government would take any action, they would have to actually confirm that chemical weapons were used. heather: you know syrian president assad, he released some pictures, he released some video. i have, i believe we have some of that, that he says proves that rebel forces used chemical weapons on this attack. he alleges it happened on march 19th in aleppo. just from you viewing this video, taking a look at these pictures, can you yourself tell, i mean, you can't tell if chemical weapons were in fact used here but president assad says this is proof. >> well certainly doctors after a period of time would be able to determine that to be sure. whether we could get accurate information from assad's medical system
join the effort of others to arm the opposition? how long will assad stay in power? that changes on almost a day-to-day basis because the situation is so uncertain as it enters the third year. the president is a bit defensive because people ask where was the world's biggest super power? you are supposed to be the voice of humanitarian needs around the world. how could you let this go on so long? why haven't you done more? the president said today at the news conference the united states from the start was calling on assad to step down and we know if you look at the calendar it is simply not true. many other countries were ahead of the united states in calling for assad to step down but it's a tough one for the president. he is right in the sense the united states used military force in this region from the beginning, there is still a big hangover from the iraq war in this part of the world. it would have been controversial. all the choices are difficult. he does get a bit defensive when that question is posed, wolf. >> he certainly does at least that is the impression you get fro
important >> the u.s. ambassador to syria also discuss the allegations that the assad regime used chemical weapons. here is part of his testimony ao a house foreign affairs committee hearing. >> so far, we have no evidence to substantiate the reports that chemical weapons were used yesterday.emic but i want to underline that we are looking very carefullyea atd these reports. we are consulting with partners in the region and in the international community. more broadly, we have been very clear from the beginning about our concern that as the assad regime's military situation deteriorates and it becomes asrs the director of national intelligence said, it becomes ever more beleaguered, that it might be tempted to use chemicav weapons m. the president has been very clear in saying that if assad and those under his command makn the mistake of using chemical weaponsen or if they fail to met their obligation to secure them, then there will be consequenceso and they will be heldcu accountable.re >> what with those consequences be ? accountable. >> what would those consequences be, ambassador? >> m
at this point. malaki's focus is not having a regime in syria. our focus is not allowing assad to continue to exist. >> that's right. the shia regime doesn't want to see a sunni regime in syria. iran wants to maintain assad's power and iran is shipping weapons through iraq to syria. many people say it's those weapons and a lot of the training coming from iran that is propping up the aassad regime in syria. if we can cut that off, we might be able to cut off the weapons propping up in the assad regime. we can't get those flights to land, be inspected. if jordan has intelligence there's weapons on those flights we can't cut it off. it is a damned shame because we spent all that time, blood in iraq, we should have that type of relationship where we can stop that. instead we can't. >>brian: secretary of state condoleezza told us here that status agreement was written to be renegotiation before it was up. if that was renegotiated successfully we would have had presence in the region and you could argue there would not be the intertribal strife they're witnessing right now. therefore, we would h
that hezbollah's ally assad's regime has sock piled rockets, we will guard against that. i made it clear to assad and all that follow his orders, we will chemicalate the use of weapons or the transfer of those weapons. the world is watching and we will hold you accountable. [applause] the syrian people have the right to be free from the grip of a dictator who would rather kill s own people than relinquish power. assad must go so a serious future can begin. because true stability in syria depends on establishing a government that is responsible to its people. one that protects all communities within its borders while making peace with countries beyond them. that this is what i think about when i think about israel's security. when i think about israel's security i also think about the people who have a living memory of the holocaust. faced with a government that is called for iran's disruption. no wound their israel views this as a threat. this is not simply a challenge for israel but it is a danger for the entire world, including the united states. [applause] a nuclear-armed iran will raise the r
. but maliki has his own reasons for wanting to have assad in power. is it the kinship between shia and alouites, is it a concern that if his government is toppled it puts pressure on sectarian tensions within iraq? help us understand why the maliki government is taking the position it is, regarding the conflict in syria. >> you look for simple explanations. many international jihadis entered iraq and committed acts. whether they facilitated or not, they did not stop it. in 2009 after a particular set of horrific bombings, maliki wanted to take them to a criminal court. it looks like saddam's regime, when people see an uprising in syria, it looks like iraq in 1990, 1991. how did this come about? it is simplistic to say that -- more the issue is maliki and shia is they must see the threat facing them in the same way that iran sees the threat, and by the threats, i mean this fear of the sunni regime's getting together, coming together to overthrow the shia regime of assad and then overthrowing the shia regime in baghdad. it is this fear of the alternative. it is fear is assad is on th
at these reports. press press issued a warning to the assad regime. -- press secretary jay carney. >> i'm not going to discuss intelligence but important as fight in syria intensifies and fighting becomes more desperate that the united states and international community make it absolutely clear to assad that the use of chemical weapons would be totally unacceptable. the president was clear when he said if assad and those under his command use chemical weapons and fail to secure them there will be consequences and they will behold accountable. jenna: joining us is a research fellow at the new american foundation. he has traveled extensively in syria during this conflict many times and we called upon him for his expertise in this part of the world. brock, when you hear the reports come out what should we consider about them. >> first we need to know that the syria has the 30 or fourth largest stockpile of chemical weapons in the world. there are the a thousand tons of chemical agents in the past the obama administration will use the them as more and more of the country splits out of the regime contro
to the geneva commune kay for those of us engaged in that effort anything that supports president assad is problematic. >> problematic indeed. iraq however along with iran defends the oversight. malki basically says and senior officials say that the flights are for humanitary concerns. secretary kerry says the over flights are something that are threatening the relations between u.s. and fragility. secretary kerry goes on to say that for iraq to move forward it must have fair leblgss. he says quote there's an enormous investment of our treasure our people and our money into this initiative. the world has an interest in seeing iraq take the leading role as a functioning democracy. due though that elections will be critical. if iraq remains conclusive and cohesive it has a chance of succeeding. heather? >> kelly wright thank you so much. >> the time now 11 after the top of the hour. after a week cbs finally addresses the controversy over this memorial being used as a prop during the show "the amazing race." was it enough? >> we report you decide. >> why people are flocking to this particu
for their neighbors. his majesty was the first arab leader to publicly call on assad to step down because of the horrific violence being inflicted on the syrian people. jordan took a leading role in the political transition to a more stable government. we are looking at strengthening the syrian opposition. we share concerns about violence spilling across the borders. i want to make it clear. the united states is committed to the security of jordan, which is backed by our strong alliance. the jordanian people have mixed -- have displayed extraordinary generosity, but the strains of some many refugees inevitably is showing. they are far from home, but this is a heavy burden. need the international community to step up and help shoulder this burden. the united states will certainly do our part. we are these single largest donor of assistance to the syrian people. some of this has helped jordan, and for days i have been announcing that my administration will provide jordan with an additional $200 million in budget support as it cares for syrian refugees and jordanian communities affected by t
and will continue to do so, but also said, and i'm quoting loosely, assad will go. it's not an issue of if but when. how important is it for the president to sound so certain on that, especially while in the region? >> well, of course, as you know, there's turbulence throughout the region arising out of the situation in syria. just today the press reports that the prime resigned because of differences arising from the conflict in syria. it's a destabilizing influence throughout the region. very important for the president to address. he's got to walk a very fine line there. the united states does not want to become involved in another military venture in the middle east. we just finished a 12-year war in iraq and afghanistan. we're now drawing that to an end. we don't want to get plunged into another long-term military presence. at the same time, it's very clear that we have to and do support the opposition to the government's regime there and that i think as the president has correctly said, the days are numbered. history is filled with examples of dictators who have been toppled by revolutions an
. at the same time, both president obama and king abdullah have called for president assad to accept down and have made it clear that they don't see much of a future for him in running that country. >> always good to see you. thanks so much. >> today's tweet of the day has to do with march madness. in case you didn't hear, 14th seed harvard earned its first ever ncaa victory last night. so today this is what the harvard lampoon tweeted -- america, we are sorry for messing up your brackets and your financial system and everything else. seed harvard earned its first >>> hard to believe it's been ten years since the shock and au campaign that laufrgesed the iraq war. i was on the air as it was all unfolding. this clip is from the morning after the war began. >> let's get you up to date on what is happening. it started at 9:30 eastern time last night when president bush gave the order and attacks were made against leadership targets, saddam hussein in a bunker around baghdad. and since then, a lot of activity for those troops massed along the iraq kuwaiti border. they have gotten some scares
assad can hang on? an update on syria the most important item here. >> what was really accomplished, john, in this trip overall? >> reporter: you know, you have to say, don, i think what was accomplished is important foundations were set down. we'll see in the weeks and months ahead whether they produced the results the president wants. let's go through one of them, very important, not on the schedule. that was the president brokering a call this morning, between the israeli prime minister and the turkish prime minister. two traditional allies who have not had normal relations for about three years now. remember, that gaza blockade, israeli commandos killed some turks on a boat out, trying to bring humanitarian aid to gaza, relations broke off. the president brokered a call this morning in which prime minister netanyahu apologized to prime minister erdogan, promised to bring restitution to the families back in the united states. to have them back, back on the same page, is very, very important. also comparing notes with the israeli leadership about the diplomacy with iran over its n
put out was the use of chemical weapons. there were reports from syria that the president assad regime used chemical weapons against the rebels and the united states reached the conclusion that that is probably not so. this situation is close to the brink of forcing the united states to intervene in some way to prevent crossing this redline. president obama's trip to the region, including jordan, is hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees and highlighted the fact that the situation on the ground in syria is not getting better. there is no sign that it will get better. it does not seem the united states has a response to this ongoing challenge. guest: the united states has been the biggest donor in terms of humanitarian and financial aid to the syrian opposition. close to $500 million so far. also giving logistical and to indications training. we are told there is some training and intelligence being given to the militants, parts of the opposition. we need to understand what is going on in syria is looking like a civil war. extremistr between islamic militant groups that are not real
iraq of helping syrian president bashar al assad arm fighters from iran to cross into syria from iraq. >>> and new this morning, former penn state assistant football coach jerry sandusky breaking his silence from behind bars. a documentary filmmaker saying he has recorded telephone conversations with sand us ki that will air today on nbc. the family of the late joe paterno, the head football coach whose career ended in disgrace are already speaking out. they called the recording quote a sad and unfortunate development saying it's transparently self-serving, and yet another insult to the victims and anyone who cares about the truth in this tragic story. >>> a public memorial service for colorado's prison chief will be held today in colorado springs. tom clement was laid to rest yesterday in a private funeral. he was shot and killed tuesday in his driveway. the parolee authorities believe did it was killed thursday in a shutout in texas. he's also believed to have killed a pizza deliveryman. >>> and the supreme court takes up the issue of same-sex marriage starting tomorrow dozens of pe
sit down and figure out what happens to syria after their president assad is gone. convincing iraq to stop that, the iraqi election to prime minister al-maliki recently and suddenly delayed for six months and secretary of state is to convince him and reverse course and not waiting for a vote. and a meeting got underway in the last half hour or so, at some points we expect to see kerry at a solo press conference in iraq and we hope to get an update then about how things have been going on this surprise trip. back to you in new york. >> alisyn: peter, thank you very much for the update. let's get to the rest of your headlines. another fox news for you right now. let's take a live look from vatican city. this is pope francis celebrating palm sunday mass in a packed st. peter's square and next to easter the most holy day in the catholic church. this is a day after pope francis met with pope emeritus benedict xvi, and the two spoke privately for about 45 minutes and then the two prayed side by side. a tragic skydiving accident in florida that left two people dead. an experienced instruc
war. the assad regime and rebel forces accusing each other of chemical war fair, but u.s. military officials tell cnn their intelligence suggests neither side used those weapons. >>> 183 air traffic control towers on the chopping block. today we learn which ones the faa will shut down. some of the towers are practically brand new. blame the four spending cuts for all of this. the towers handle low to moderate amounts of air traffic and use mostly contract workers as well. >> a combination of technical and communications breakdowns are blamed for the power loss at the super bowl. the power caused a more than half-hour delay between the baltimore ravens and san francisco 49ers. according to an independent analysis, a design defect in a recently installed relay device caused the power to trip. they had trouble reaching the manufacturer to solve the problem. >> hopefully it won't happen again. >>> sow, how is that bracket holding up for you? the first full day of the ncaa tournament delivering the first huge upset. 14th seed harvard pulling off a stunner in salt lake city new york knoc
struggling with more than 400,000 syrian refugees who have crossed. assad is bowing to wipe out extremists. among the dozens killed was a 84-year-old cleric who is one of his strongest supporters. eighty-four people were wounded in the explosion. a marine shot and killed two other marines before turning the gun on himself. the shooter was a staff member at the quantico school. the two victims, a male and female, were both active duty marines. this comes just three days after seven marines were killed in a training accident in nevada. those are your headlines. back to melissa and adam. melissa: thank you. farmland prices doubling in the u.s. does this signal a bubble brewing in america's heartland? jeff flock is in grundy county, illinois. jeff: want to buy a farm, melissa? melissa: sure, why not. jeff: we are talking about investing in farmland. a lot of people on wall street are doing it right now. take a look at this piece of ground. 160-acre parcel in grundy county, illinois, corn and beans, do what ever you want around here. i have a man who makes his business making loans to farmers.
, a major issue obama said it's a game changer if assad uses chemical weapons and the u.s. has to be very careful they have accurate information on that. the pressure they have militarily if they do. >> people are still dying every day. chemical weapons or no. >> that's what we get into the debate, what kind of munitions were used. we treat chemical weapons that are used and people in syria who are killed probably might not see such a difference. if we should intervene no matter what. >> we'll continue this trip on "starting point." >>> ready for blackberry. long awaited launch. >> have you noted that the winter weather is sticking around a long time? punxsutawney phil could be in serious trouble for the early spring prediction. a lawyer is suing the groundhog. a lawyer. who passed the bar. on "starting point." back in a moment. nnouncer ] a classic macaroni & cheese from stouffer's starts with freshly-made pasta, and 100% real cheddar cheese. but what makes stouffer's mac n' cheese best of all. that moment you enjoy it at home. stouffer's. made with care for you or your family. to book t
's why i'm quite skeptical about it right now. >>brian: what's the worst scenario? that assad is using it as the government in charge or that the rebels have it? and we know inside the rebel organization, if you can call it that, are muslim extremists? >> absolutely. they're both bad because once one uses it, the other side will use it. the real danger is hezbollah gets it and would use it on israel. that's the great fear that i have. >>brian: general, how do you know all this stuff about agents? was that a focus of yours? >> i used to be in command of a unit that used to have that mission before we signed the chemical weapons treaty. i'm intimately familiar with using them, storing them, putting them on airplanes. this is with fighters we had them. and that is a very difficult area to work on. and i had a great deal of experience with that. of course we no longer use them and it's no longer in our inventory. >>brian: we know the president said that's a red line. we think we know where this stuff is housed. can we go with an airstrike, blow it up and not poison the surrounding populati
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